Guillow has been around for almost 88 years now. As far as wooden model airplanes go, many people will tell you that are top notch. (They have to be to have been around this long right?) They offer a large variety of model planes to give those young and old a great, hands on experience. They recently released new 4500 series miniModel line that includes 6 planes. Three of these are private planes and three are military planes and include models such as the U.S. WarHawk and the U.S. Hellcat. I received 3 models to review and we couldn’t wait to put them together.
These models say for ages 13+ (or under 13 with the help of an adult) My step so has been building things for as long as I can remember so he went ahead and started on a model himself. Unfortunately, he did not realize just how easily the Balsa wood could break and before he even had all the pieces out he had already broken one. This was going to call for someone who could have patience and be very easy with the building process. Make sure to note if you allow your child to build it on their own, it is going to take patience and time. You can not rush and you HAVE to be gentle! The only one in this house able to do that was me.
I opened the Stunt Flyer model and got started. I can’t stress enough to read all the directions BEFORE you even put the first piece on and make sure to follow them exactly. If you make a mistake, there is likely no fixing it. The instructions state you can use white glue or any fast drying glue. I recommend Krazy Glue. White glue just didn’t want to dry fast enough to keep the plane perfect. Once I started using Krazy Glue the process was just perfect.
I got the body of the plane built as the instructions stated and then went on to the wings. The wings are a very tedious process, but this is made easier with the use of an outline on the instructions. This ensures you can keep it even and have the parts exactly where they need to be! (I have to admit, I would have really messed up had I not had the outline to follow! The wings also include a sticker that goes around them. This gives the otherwise simple wooden design a slight splash of color and cool personalization to make it look like the real plane. After completing the wongs, I felt a real sense of accomplishment! I can see why the company has been around. It as actually enjoyable to know I built something of my own! Of course, to keep up with today’s technology based world, Guillow also offers detailed 3D models online to help with building!
When I first started building the plane, I had no idea it was actually meant to fly!(Maybe I should have read the box since it states it right on the front!) I thought it was just a model to sit around. In my mind, the balsa wood design just seemed to fragile to even think about attempting to fly it! But the kit includes a propeller and a band. You simply attach the band as per instructions, wind the propeller 100+ times (this twists the rubber band round and round) then hold the plane steady and let it go. It glides through the air nicely. There are also small magnets included to help balance the weight as needed to make it fly perfectly. I was terrified that it would break the minute it crashed! But I gave it a try.
To my surprise, the wood held up. My Guillow miniModel Stunt Flyer went right on through the air. I did make sure to do it in an open grassy area to lessen the chance of breakage. So far it has held up just fine. (I did not install the landing gear since the instructions stated it was optional and would fly better without it. But the landing gear is also included with this model!) At a price of only $8.99, I won’t expect it to last through hundreds of crash landings, but it has far exceeded my expectations at this point!
I can’t wait to build our next model. Now that I know what to do and how to handle it, it should go much more smoothly. For an hour and a half of building time, I have to say this was a fun way to get my mind going and have a little time away from the computer and TV. This would be the perfect gift for the teen builder in your life or the perfect bonding time for a bit younger builder and their parents! Want to experience Guillow’s 4500 series for yourself? Enter below to win your choice of 3 of the models of your choice from the miniModel line.